January 22, 2020
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    April 08, 2018

    The much awaited National Export Strategy (NES) to make Sri Lanka an export hub and drive exports to the next level will be launched next month, sources from the Export Development Board (EDB), the apex body for export development said.The NES, a long felt need for the country had been in the back burner far too long. However stakeholders of the national strategy said it is better late than never as the country desperately needs a sound roadmap to remain in a highly competitive global market.

    A national strategy which focuses on competitiveness and product diversification through innovation and strengthening of emerging export sectors had been in the pipeline for several years. And never saw the light of day.The strategic vision is to make ‘Sri Lanka – An Export Hub’ driven by innovation and investment. Its objectives are to have a business-enabling, predictable and transparent policy and regulatory framework that supports exports, drives export diversification through innovation and the strengthening of emerging export sectors, strengthen exporters’ market-entry and compliance capacities and become an efficient trade and logistics hub to facilitate exports.

    The strategy will focus on sectors such as Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT/BPM), wellness tourism, spices and concentrates, boating, processed food and beverages, electrical and electronic components. Trade support functions will comprise trade information and promotion, national quality infrastructure, innovation, R&D and logistics.Total exports of merchandise and services in the first two months this year increased to US$ 2499.87 million compared to US$ 2324.67 million recorded during the corresponding period last year.

    Merchandise exports increased to US$ 1830.63 million compared to $ 1704.67 million in the first two months last year. Exports of apparels, tea, rubber and rubber based products, engineering products, diamond, gem and jewellery, food and beverages, wood and leather products recorded a growth in the first two months this year as against the same period in 2017.Service exports too grew from US$ 620 million to US$ 669.24 million in the first two months this year.

    However, Sri Lanka’s trade deficit expanded during the first month this year due to the increase in exports. The trade deficit expanded to US$ 9.6 billion last year from $ 8.9 billion in the previous year. Exports increased to US$ 11.4 billion in 2017 while imports increased to US$ 21 billion in the previous year.

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